With the growth of Facebook’s popularity in the recent years, the number of people who put up fake profiles have increased. In most cases, the intentions of someone who creates a fake profile is less than honorable.
Among them are sex predators, internet marketers that prey on vulnerable people, either male or female, then take advantage of them financially or emotionally. There are other people behind fake profiles who will send you friend request just to introduce viruses on your computer or re-direct you to a potentially harmful website.
So how do you do to identify fake profiles on Facebook?
If you are a Facebook user, then you should be alert and look out for the following red flags when you get friend request from people with potentially fake profiles.
1. Inconsistencies in Profile information
If you have mutual friends, ask them if they actually know the person. You can also use Google to check that the information carried on their page for inconsistencies. For example, a quick Google search might indicate the person was born in 1988 whereas on its Facebook profile, it’s written 1992.
2. Profile is public with default privacy settings
Most real people will tweak their privacy settings so that only their friends can see their profile pictures. If you have received an unknown friend request, and you are able to browse through their albums, profile information and their wall. This might be a clue that this profile is fake.
3. Photos on fake profile is often an attractive person.
People behind fake Facebook profile often use attractive photos or celebrities. The intention of this is to attract unsuspecting people (especially men) who will accept or send a friend request based on this. You can identify Facebook photos taken from the web using Google.
4. Huge friend list
Someone behind a fake profile will just do anything to acquire a lot of friends quickly. This is to make sure that their profile looks natural with a decent amount of friends. So if you see a lot of friend added recently, it is likely a fake profile unless the person has been living a rock for some time and is now accepting his pending friend request in bulk.
5.Fake profiles will rarely have any real photos
Their tagged photos are of cartoons or generated photos from Facebook apps. Their photos are also likely to be few and usually uploaded on the same date.
6. Barely any profile information
Their profiles are not very telling, and the information present is scanty and what is available doesn’t reveal any personal details, for example; they may have their relationship status but no information such as where they schooled, where they work and family relationships. This is because most people who are creating a fake profile will not have time to write out details and lengthy personal information.
7. Friend requests from celebrities
If you receive a friend request from a star, politician or a well-known person,they must be approached warily. This is because unless you are a celebrity, yourself, why would they friend request you?
8. Fake profiles will hardly have any interaction
They rarely get comments except except the ‘Thanks for the add’ comment type or likes on their status updates. They also don’t comment or like other people’s updates or photos.
9. Profiles of advertising nature
You might find their timeline filled with statuses promoting products online. Internet marketers usually use this tactic as a way to drive traffic to their website or an affiliate website.
10. Network of fake profiles
Don’t be fooled if you see that his friends vouch for him on his timeline. Fake profiles tend to make them look real by linking to other fake profiles,for example, by adding them as family relatives. However,this is really rare because no one really have the time to make a profile looks so real.
The above are just a few tips that can help you to identify a fake profile on Facebook.Finally,if you have been a victim by someone with a fake profile, you should report it to Facebook or your local authorities.